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Discussion Starter #1
So I’ve been looking for a 6spd M6 and found a couple. One is a 2009 coupe with 85k miles. The second is a 2007 convertible with 38k miles. Both look to be in good condition. Both are about the same asking price. Neither car has rod bearing replacement work.

Which direction would you guys go? Age and lower mileage? Or newer version but higher mileage? I’m leaning towards lower mileage.
 

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I would go with the coupe, but I've never been big on convertibles. If the vert was the newer option and had far less miles it might be more of a conversation for me, but of the two you're looking at I'd go for the coupe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your opinion. I'm still a little hung up on the mileage of the coupe. I won't put many miles on the car of choice. So I do look to the future on what potential future buyers might look for. Mileage is usually one of the top priorities.
 

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I've been researching the same questions, and to be honest, the correct answer is: Mileage doesn't matter. Most of the failures these cars experience were not dependent on high mileage. You need to go back into the forums to 10 years ago and start reading to make a purchase decision on a lower mileage car. What's more, while people attempt to charge a premium for mileage, none of the valuation site support anything close to the premium most are asking. The lower mileage cars are mostly overpriced, and most have still been sitting on dealer lots for 6 months or more waiting for a sucker to come along, since the dealers are probably already losing their collective butts on them. I'm quite sure I know at least one of the cars you're talking about. It's been sitting since at least October, and possibly longer. There is another than has been sitting for well over a year. Looks on Cargurus, which has time on market. M6 BMWs flat out don't sell well until the dealers drop the price into the floor to liquidate their mistakes.

Why is no one buying for higher prices even with lower mileage? Dealer cars don't have a maintenance history with them, generally speaking. Without each and every service record showing that every last part that fails was already replaced, paying extra for lower mileage is a waste of time and money. Why? Regardless of mileage, the rod bearings need to be replaced now. It does not matter if the car has 35k or 90k on it. The bearings are a time bomb at any given mileage, and if they are not immediately replaced, either i) the motor will fail or ii) the metal fragments from the bearings short of engine failure will take out the VANOS pumps ($1500+) and solenoids ($4000). So, budget enough to have the car thoroughly inspected to ensure no VANOS issues, then budget $5,000.00 up front for the day after you purchase to deal with rod bearings and everything else that should be done while the pan is dropped. And then, if you have a 2007 vs a 2009, budget for failure of any other parts that were updated from '07 to '09. And then budget for failure of stuff that was already fixed on the 85k car that hasn't yet broken on the 35k car. For the age, neither is high mileage, and the ages are getting to a point where age will eat more parts than mileage.

All things considered, I would take a 2009 with 85,000 on it over a 2007 with 35,000 on it any day, if service records were equal. I don't care what the mileage is, there is no 2007 worth a dime over $17,000 unless it has perfect service records that indicate all preventative maintenance has been done. With 35k on the clock, you're just buying a $20k repair bill that hasn't hit yet if you don't pony up for the bearings immediately. That 2007 is not $25,000. It is $30,000 by the time you add a bearing service ... aaaaa.... you're talking 2012 M6 money.. "Potential future buyers" of an M6 V10 convertible? Man. They only made 350 or so, and there are no less than five for sale right now, all sitting for months. If you're thinking about buying a 2007 BMW with an eye toward resale value, buy something else. If you're buying it because you love it and will keep it forever (as I have done with pretty much all of my cars), pay what it takes for the one you want. But if you're asking "should I get a coupe or a convertible" I think you're in for some pain... That isn't a real question for most people. I think you like the lower mileage of the 'vert but want a coupe? Then get the coupe. Or whichever one you're happy to unload another $10,000 into, most of which you'll never get back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ryanmh1, fantastic post and discussion. Thank you so much, that is very insightful. It really helps in my thought process. I've had a V10 M5/M6 on my bucket list and keep on asking myself if I want to go through the pain of spending on big repair bills. Or try to find a car that has already had the work completed. You mentioned that there are 5 convertibles available right now. Are they 6spd gearbox cars? I've only found one or is it two. A couple I've found have salvage titles and I'm not counting them. They will never be collector car additions. Now if all I wanted was to play for a couple years, they might be ok, but I'm not a throw away car guy. I'm a buy and keep for as long as I can afford to do so. I'm hoping whatever I buy, will appreciate, but certainly not depreciate further if I keep it in great shape and condition.

You mentioned that you are going through the same process. Are you looking for 6spd cars or SMG? I'm focusing on 6spd for the rarity and hopeful appreciation that they might get in the distant future. Maybe that is a fools game thinking like that. I do wonder if I'm making the right decision with skipping the SMG cars. But I've only been stranded once due to a manual box failure. And that was a fluke instance. I've wondered if the SMG problems are from folks thinking and shifting them like they are automatics and not treating them like a manual box. But hard to police that consideration without knowing the previous owners and how they drove the car. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thanks again for the discussion, Dennis
 

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are 5 convertibles available right now. Are they 6spd gearbox cars? I've only found one or is it two. A couple I've found have salvage titles and I'm not counting them. They will never be collector car additions. Now if all I wanted

You mentioned that you are going through the same process. Are you looking for 6spd cars or SMG? I'm focusing on 6spd for the rarity and hopeful appreciation that they might get in the distant future. Maybe that is a fools game thinking
[…]
without knowing the previous owners and how they drove the car. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thanks again for the discussion, Dennis
More or less I was shopping for a convertible that could hold four since I have kids that occasionally need to be ferried around, and they don't fit in my two seater convertible. The M6 seemed to check some of those boxes, but the car is a rolling maintenance nightmare. That's what I can't quite get over. A toy car, that even if driven rarely, is likely to need crushingly expensive repairs immediately, which if not done, could result in destruction of the car at any given moment. I have a big block Corvette that's 50 years old, and has cost maybe $500 in the last six year including oil changes.

That there were five of these things for sale with a manual out of 350 produced, often for sale for a year or more, is saying something. The only one that finally moved was a 2010 with 10,000 miles on it. That had every last update, plus the improved iDrive. I think it went for a touch over $30k. Another dealer has a 2008 or 2009 with 20k on the clock for close to that, and they've had it for ages. The more I think about it, the less I see them ever becoming very "collectible"--no more so than the SMG. It's a 4400 pound boat anchor, with a good motor. It doesn't really do anything well, apart from ferry four people around, and that's never been a big formula for collectibility unless it was a sedan or a wagon. There are too many better convertibles and coupes to collect. The sedan should be worth a lot more than it is, since it is so much more unique among cars generally, but the prices on those have been going nowhere but down.

Frankly, this is somewhat cathartic, because the most I talk about it and think about it, the more I realize how bad an idea the thing is. I can stuff kids into a GT500 or a ZL1 convertible, have less depreciation, lower insurance, lower registration fees, and vastly lower repair and maintenance bills. The idea of the V10 at 8000rpm is amazing, but everything that goes with it is awfully hard to stomach. If I ever do cave, it's going to be YouTube's fault and the sounds of that engine... Same reason I ended up with an S4 wagon...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That V10 does sound fantastic. But so does my E46 M Roadster and Coupe. My thoughts are who did a V10 other than the Audi/Lambo cars. I don't know what a V10 R8 is like. I've never been a believer in the Audi family remembering back to the 80's 5000 series of cars. Nightmare. Hindsight. I may regret going down the BMW V10 trail, but it is calling me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does the 2009 have the same iDrive as the 2010 car? Or are the system improvements in the 2010 only?
 

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I can’t speak on lower milage s85 because I bought a higher Milage one. I bought mine with 92k on it, got home and did some research and realized what I got myself into.. my dream car has always been an M5 but I thought I’d end up with an E39 and did not know much about the E60s. ( I know you are looking at M6, but I think my post is still relevant). I Was pretty worried at first, but I got the rod bearings done right away along with engine mounts and high pressure line which made me feel much better.. about 8-9 months have gone by and about 5k miles that have been trouble free miles pretty much so far besides an Smg code that was very recent (car is in shop for unrelated reason, but checking on that.) sometimes I worry about how much cash I’m dumping into an older M car with close to 100k miles (ive spent close to 5-6k since I bought her with preventive / regular Maint just for piece of mind.. paying labor as well since I don’t want to do the work myself).. anytime I’m behind the wheel I forget all about that.. the car is my dream car and I am willing to pay to play.. I just pray I can get her to 150k without any catastrophic failure or replacing the transmission.

I might add ive read a lot of threads on this forum and people say that the higher milage cars most likely have had SOME OF the hefty repair bills already taken care of.. unfortunately I bought my car on impulse and there were not much records.. I think I got lucky though my car is pretty clean. Good luck on your search.
 

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Does the 2009 have the same iDrive as the 2010 car? Or are the system improvements in the 2010 only?
They have the newer control knobs with the added buttons. I assume the interface was also updated.

As far as other V10s, not many that rev to 8000. Most all of them are or were designed by or derived from Lamborghini at some point in their lives. Viper V10 is another cheaper one. Then there are the various Audi S6/S8 variants and the R8. To be fair, BMW and Mercedes both had their share of problems. The BMWs just cost a lot more to fix. The domestic manufacturers, on the other hand, more or less tend to build far more reliable V8/V10 engines, I assume due to decades of experience building them. You aren't going to find Camaro or Mustang threads littered with "my engine blew up" stories unless some wizard was running 2x the factory boost through it. Probably why a used Pontiac G8 GXP now costs more than an M5 of similar vintage. Ouch.
 

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If you do just really want/need to have a lower mileage car (and since you were after that one with 10k on the clock, I suspect that's the case), and gotta have the V10, there are some out there. 2008, 20k on the clock: BMW 6 Series 2008 in Shelton, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stratford | CT | Center Motorsports LLC | Y79616 ... There's another '08 in Plano, TX for $35k, but about 45k miles. 2008 BMW 6 Series 2dr Conv M6 Plano Preowned Auto Group | Auto dealership in Plano. Both are obviously priced to try to find someone who just can't live without one, but perhaps they would negotiate. All things considered, the one with 20k is probably the best one listed, and they've been sitting on it for well over half a year, so they probably want to move it. As a bonus, it has a tan interior. Black interior on a convertible is misery--I don't care what sort of coating BMW claims they used to repel sunlight and heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I guess my view point is 50k is a tip over number for collectible vs. driver for "modern" vehicles. Looking at auction results, great differences for low mileage cars vs. higher mileage happen. I'm a poor bastard, so whatever I buy I have to consider resale values for down the road. I don't commute to work any longer and don't put many miles on a car. So a low mileage car stays low mileage with me. I suppose when you get over 25 years old, condition overrides mileage to the point of perhaps not making a difference. I don't know what the engine rebuild mileage is for these high strung S85 or S65 or E46 M motors. But old school motors where 100k to 150k miles. A 35k mile motor would be just broken in. But with these motors 35k could be "broken" if not taken care of properly. I'm not an expert on these matters so comments are welcomed. What I'm probably saying is I might be able to afford to buy a V10 car, but not able to pay for a new motor. My bucket list may need a correction in thought.
 

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I watched too many TV shows on Velocity Channel about all those live auction, classic car, and car value programs I had me thinking like you before. But always come back to, bought this car to drive it, cars were meant to be driven, and all that etc.

Looks like you are looking to buy as an investment maybe? Then maybe the lower mileage will be a better option for you. SInce the lower miles will help the resale value.

A car that's not driven can't breakdown right? So no need to worry about reliability and maintenance.
 

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I would avoid pre LCI models despite lower mileage. Go with a 09 or 10. There are a number of improvements made to the engine like revised VANOS gears for less noise, longer internal VANOS hose, oil squirters, etc. The iDrive is also more up to date, much more functional and easier to use. I believe 08s are LCI but have the older iDrive (this is the case with the M5). 09 and 10s have the next generation iDrive.
 

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Documented maintenance history > age v. mileage. I would also “buy the seller,” which almost dovetails into maintenance history. “Buy the seller” is a phrase we use on another Board where I buy/sell watches. Coincidently, there are a few old M5Board members on that Board as well. If you don’t trust the seller, don’t make the transaction.

Updated iDrive is a moot point, when the “newest” iDrive is 10 years out-of-date and Android based upgrades are readily available.

Documented maintenance history would be my main criteria. It is my opinion, these cars are getting to the point when years and miles do not matter. A car that sits rots. A car with neglected miles rots. A car with documented maintenance history is the one to buy.
 

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Documented maintenance history > age v. mileage. I would also “buy the seller,” which almost dovetails into maintenance history. “Buy the seller” is a phrase we use on another Board where I buy/sell watches. Coincidently, there are a few old M5Board members on that Board as well. If you don’t trust the seller, don’t make the transaction.

Updated iDrive is a moot point, when the “newest” iDrive is 10 years out-of-date and Android based upgrades are readily available.

Documented maintenance history would be my main criteria. It is my opinion, these cars are getting to the point when years and miles do not matter. A car that sits rots. A car with neglected miles rots. A car with documented maintenance history is the one to buy.
I think this is correct. There are probably almost none of those oddball cars out there with 1500 miles on them still which might, if locked away in a time capsule, have a high collectible value for low mileage. And of course, if you do find one, you can't drive it, which sort of defeats the point. Plus, I've never thought that used, extremely low mileage cars were a great idea, outside of speculating. They have aged out of warranty, and may not have been driven enough to work out any gremlins the factory missed. Lower mileage is nice, but only to a point.

On the other hand, almost none of them have 160,000 miles on them like many of the low value e39s. Thus, it's all about condition, and certain critical updates. I wouldn't rank electronics among them, in terms of future value. I would rank the VANOS pump among them, but that update was 03/2007. Surprisingly, a substantial number of MY2007 cars were produced with that update, and potentially all of the 6MT cars. The convertibles, at least, all appear to have that update. The other updates like oil squirters are not as significant, and can be added cheaply enough when bearings are done. The only update that isn't possible to do is the longer head bolts, but I've never read anything that suggests head bolt failure is a real problem anyway. Granted, they did update the bearings in 2008, but all they did was try to cure problems by using a harder bearing material instead of fixing the clearances, so that update does not matter. The recent thread on the M5 side about the bearings is very, very good and worth the time to read. It puts to rest the idea that the bearings in any of these cars can simply be left alone, at least for me.

In the long run, I still can't make up my mind. The mechanical issues are probably curable, but the car that some magazine's called BMW's Camaro (which is not far off the mark, really) still is plagued with problems a Camaro ZL1 won't have, and which will cost vastly more to insure and maintain. Time has washed away much of luxury and performance, so what you're left with is great seats and a great motor. Unlike a high performance manual wagon, this isn't a package that is simply unavailable (outside of the motor). Then there's the issue that nearly all of them were ordered in black or white, both of which I find unappealing. Where or where are all the Interlagos blue cars or Indy red with a brown saddle interior. and the bearings done? That would end the hand ringing. Well, unless it was sitting next to a yellow ZL1 convertible. My head would probably explode at that point.

Anyhow, I'm rambling. Assuming the car is clean and cared for, anything with a build date after 03/2007 should suit your needs, as long as the rod bearings are swapped and when they are swapped, all of the crud properly cleaned out so that it does not circulate through the VANOS. Right now, the market is pretty flat if not dead, but who knows what the future will hold. High performance engines without turbos on them are slowly dying, and there really is nothing quite like the wail of small displacement V8 or V10.
 

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Unless you have a hard on for the color, I see no advantage to go with a pre LCI car. Price and mileage and not good trade offs. These are clearly my own opinions and is not meant to disrespect the people who have pre LCI cars.
 
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